Steven Spielberg’s cross-hitting family classic E.T. needs no introduction. Do I need to summarize the plot? – How a lonely boy discovers an abandoned wide-eyed friendly alien and their resulting burgeoning friendship. It’s the rare film that exceeds the barriers of twenty-four frames per second. I can say Reese’s Pieces or bike or phone home without any sort of context and millions will know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a juggernaut – and it’s been so for over thirty years. It’s a picture that wears its heart on its sleeve – and it remains the most true and personal of Steven Spielberg’s ridiculously compelling oeuvre.
So it’s crazy to think E.T. hasn’t yet been released on Blu-ray. That slight will be corrected Tuesday October 9th, as the picture finally gets the Blu-ray treatment. And in honor of such an occasion and to celebrate E.T., Producer Kathleen Kennedy and Star Henry Thomas (Elliott) spoke with select press for over ninety minutes about the affect E.T. had on their career, the shooting process, working with Spielberg and dealing with the phenomena the film became. In addition, Kathleen Kennedy discussed her new role as chairman of Lucasfilm, Jurassic Park 4, an upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl’s B.F.G. and Spielberg’s next Lincoln. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Filming has commenced on director Michael Polish’s (The Astronaut Farmer) adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur. The film stars Jean-Marc Barr as Kerouac, Josh Lucas as Neal Cassidy, and Kate Bosworth as Billie, the love interest of both men. Deadline reports that production just recently began on the film, which tells the story of Kerouac’s move from New York City to Northern California.
Polish wrote and is directing the film, which features a supporting cast that includes Anthony Edwards, Rahda Mitchell, Balthazar Getty, Patrick Fischler, Stana Katic, John Robinson and Henry Thomas. This marks the second Kerouac adaptation in a year, as Walter Salles recently filmed an adaptation of On The Road. That film stars Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Big Sur.
Kaley Cuoco is making her move. The female star of the CBS hit show, The Big Bang Theory, has won the lead female role in I Hop, a live-action/CG-animation comedy produced by Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures. I Hop marks Cuoco’s first major studio feature role, an important distinction considering her last few films have been straight-to-DVD fare like Killer Movie, Cougar Club and the Lifetime classic, To Be Fat Like Me. In I Hop, Cuoco helps take care of the Easter Bunny’s (voiced by Russell Brand) son after her unemployed and irresponsible brother (James Marsden) accidently injures the child. Tim Hill (Alvin and the Chipmunks) will direct.
To counter-balance the broad comedy of I Hop, Cuoco will also be appearing in Harry Thomason (The Hunting of the President) independent film, The Last Ride. She will play a gas-station owner who has a brief fling with the man (Jesse James) who is responsible for driving Hank Williams (Henry Thomas) from Alabama to Canton, Ohio to play what might be the singer’s last gig. Cuoco has managed to stay afloat in the TV business for about 10 years now but the film industry is a different animal. Time will tell if Cuoco can transition successfully but, at the very least, she seems to be playing it smart by taking divergent roles.
Opening on February 5 is director Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) new film Dear John. Here’s the synopsis:
Based on the best-selling Nicholas Sparks book, Dear John tells the story of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a young soldier home on leave, and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), the idealistic college student he falls in love with during her spring vacation. Over the next seven tumultuous years, the couple is separated by John¹s increasingly dangerous deployments. While meeting only sporadically, they stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters overseas — correspondence that eventually triggers fateful consequences.
While I’m not usually a fan of the Nicholas Sparks genre…I’ll admit to enjoying Dear John a lot more than I expected to. Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried have great chemistry and the romance and story feels believable. If you’re girlfriend/wife asks you to see the film, bite the bullet. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of bad films in this genre and this is definitely not one of them.
To help promote the film, we’ve been given five movie clips. Hit the jump to check them out: